The Robot Readable World

Finally catching up with my humongous Instapaper backlog, i finally came around to reading Matt Jones’ brilliant Robot Readable World:

What if, instead of designing computers and robots that relate to what we can see, we meet them half-way – covering our environment with markers, codes and RFIDs, making a robot-readable world.

Finding a middle ground between human vision and computer vision. Products and environments shaped by affordances for machines, rather than people. It’s an interesting thought. While on the one hand computer vision research is trying to approximate qualities and capabilities of human vision, moving from ugly fiducial markers to natural feature tracking and so on, the new aesthetic of a machine readable world is seeping into popular culture.

[W]hile I present this as a phenomena, and dramatise it a little into being an emergent ‘force of nature’, let’s be clear that it is a phenomena to design for, and with. It’s something we will invent, within the frame of the cultural and technical pressures that force design to evolve.

BERG also did an interesting product sketch of clocks for robots.